My how times have changed in the 18+ years I have been in this business. Computers were just starting to be a major tool in our search for listings back then. Consumer search sites for real estate were non-existent. In fact the industry was nervous that by allowing consumers to search on their own, real estate agents would lose business 'to do it yourselfers.' How wrong that was. Today with Realtor.ca so popular with today's house hunters, business is still booming for the real estate professional. Long gone are the days when we agents would have books printed up for our clients with the "latest" listings. It took a week to get them and by then many of the good listings were sold. Today an agent can e-mail a full listing with multiple colour photos to their clients PDA's within minutes of the listing paperwork being completed.
Ever find yourself sitting in a Tim Horton's Sunday morning and thinking, "I wonder if there are any open houses in this area today?" Now you can log in to a web site from your blackberry and it will automatically show you open houses near where you are located. Instead of having to run back to the office and hope the secretary is free to type up an offer, we can do it right on our laptops and e-mail to our clients for signing. No more speeding across the city to get an offer signed before the irrevocable date. Just scan fax/e-mail and it's done. I sold a house this fall and the homeowner was in France on vacation. While time changes, language problems and finding Internet Cafes presented a challenge, the deal was done and all were happy. This would have been impossible just a few years ago.
Today I have this web site and the ability to set up web pages for individual clients showing the number of showings and any feedback provided by the showing agent. If I see a new listing I can snap a pic from my cell phone and forward it to buyers or have buyers do the same to me if they see a home that interests them. PDA's, Blogs, social networking sites, e bay and Kijiji and the like are all a part of today's Real Estate Professional. I use them and if your agent does not then maybe it's time to make a change. (This is not meant to solicit those of you already under contract to a licensed real estate agency)